Diller Talks, Landau Balks

The seemingly endless rift between Bruce Springsteen and Ticketmaster that followed a February ticket kerfuffle just took a new turn.

Springsteen manager Jon Landau has issued a statement on the Boss’ Web site in response to reports in the Newark Star-Ledger and New York Post that thousands of ticket holdbacks for the best seats were a big part of the problem during the Feb. 2 onsale for a recent show at the Izod Center.

Photo: John Davisson
Who rocks harder than The Boss? Nobody.

“The new theory is that Bruce’s holds were the problem … and not Ticketmaster’s already acknowledged failures on that day,” Landau wrote. “But the truth is that Bruce’s holds had nothing to do at all with the breakdown of Ticketmaster’s system.”

The aforementioned holds – 2,262 seats or roughly 12 percent of the building – were uncovered in ticket data obtained by the Star-Ledger through New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act.  According to the paper, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority that oversees the Izod Center held onto 812 tickets and the remaining 1,450 went to Springsteen and co.

Ticketmaster chairman Barry Diller took the opportunity to throw some barbs the Boss’ way following the report.

“Bruce Springsteen has been one of our most vocal critics on our ticketing policies and while he’s more than entitled to his opinion, it seems minimally fair-minded to point out that in the concert that created the fracas, where Ticketmaster apologized for making a technical mistake, it seems that Mr. Springsteen held back from his fans all but 108 of the 1,126 tickets closest to the stage,” Diller told the Post.

Landau wasn’t buying it, however, adding that the best spots did indeed go to fans and the common practice of holding tickets was for the legitimate use of Springsteen’s peeps and not for “high-dollar resale on TicketsNow.”

“The 2,000 to 3,500 tickets closest to the stage are on the floor and more than 95 percent of them go to the public, making the basic premise of the Star-Ledger headline inaccurate,” he wrote.

“Ticketmaster transferred legitimate requests for tickets at face value over to their TicketsNow site, where they could charge people hundreds and hundreds more dollars for the same ticket.

“The amount of additional profit generated by scalper type prices through this now famous ‘glitch’ remains unknown. Whether this was merely an extremely profitable ‘glitch’ for Ticketmaster/TicketsNow or something else, we have no way of knowing.”

There’s also no way of knowing where this leaves the Boss and Ticketmaster.

Landau closed noting that Springsteen and co. “have no interest in having an ongoing conflict with Ticketmaster/TicketsNow or anyone else.

“But we do get upset when we see fans being taken advantage of. … When that stuff stops happening (and the Ticketmaster/TicketsNow problems surrounding our recent show in Washington D.C. shows that these issues are far from resolved) we will stop complaining. And when the facts cease to be misrepresented, we will stop explaining.”

Click here to read Barry Diller’s remarks in the New York Post.

Click here for Springsteen manager Jon Landau’s response.